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The Doings of Fops

Here is the trade paperback page on Amazon for gods in Alabama. Quite some time ago, 24 of the reviews disappeared. POOF! Mysterious.

I contacted Amazon and got a form letter back telling me reviews could only be removed for egregious content. I wrote back saying I didn’t want reviews REMOVED, I wanted them put back. A real person wrote back, said she had investigated, and that “No reviews are missing.”

SO then I googled around all MISSIONY and FOUND the missing reviews. They had gone to live alone on this page for the out-of-print hardback, all exiled and reviled. I sent Amazon the link, and a rep wrote back and said, essentially “Oh. Well those reviews are not there and you did not see them and we don’t either.”

He has The Spooky Eye!

I suspect customer service had that day been taken over by failed Jedi. So, Obi, are you saying these reviews are not the reviews I have am looking for? Should I go about my business?

Okay to be FAIR, I wouldn’t care so much personally if 16 weren’t 5 stars and 4 more weren’t 4 stars, which means it was mostly a passel of folks who really liked the book who got moved to review ghetto. I admit, I take great pleasure in seeing readers who like my work say so publicly, so this is personal and biased and I doubt I would fuss if a couple of BAD reviews went missing.

My bias aside, I am genuinely irky on the reviewers’ behalf. Even the lone, lost one star reviewer who flat hated gods and found the juxtaposition of humor and violence to be morally disturbing to her wa. Her review got axed, too, and that’s not fair. These folks spent their valuable time reviewing a book. They helped other readers decide. And from a novelist’s view, if you like someone’s book, the nicest thing you can do is go tell everyone you ever met and the internet to buy it.

These people took the time to go tell the internet, and then the internet shunted them off to a dead page, so today, in their honor, I post a list of PURELY HILARIOUS reviews written by people I sincerely hope never read any of my books and decide to review them. Because no good can come of it. But if they DO, I hope they do not get shunted off to a dead page. I got them from Rachel Gardner’s charming agent blog, and she got them from The Morning News. They were originally compiled by a defective yeti. As opposed to a fully functional one. Like mine.

If you Google image The Doings of Fops-and why wouldn't you?-This is what you get first.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

“It grieves me deeply that we Americans should take as our classic a book that is no more than a lengthy description of the doings of fops.”

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

“I don’t see why this book is so fabulous. I would give it a zero. I find no point in writing a book about segregation, there’s no way of making it into an enjoyable book. And yes I am totally against segregation.”

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

“While the story did have a great moral to go along with it, it was about dirt! Dirt and migrating. Dirt and migrating and more dirt.”

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

“I bought these books to have something nice to read to my grandkids. I had to stop, however, because the books are nothing more than advertisements for “Turkish Delight,” a candy popular in the U.K. The whole point of buying books for my grandkids was to give them a break from advertising, and here (throughout) are ads for this “Turkish Delight”! How much money is this Mr. Lewis getting from the Cadbury’s chocolate company anyway? This man must be laughing to the bank.”

No one. Because she's dead.

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

“The only good thing to say about this ‘literary’ drivel is that the person responsible, Virginia Woolf, has been dead for quite some time now. Let us pray to God she stays that way.”

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

“I am obsessed with Survivor, so I thought it would be fun. WRONG!!! It is incredibly boring and disgusting. I was very much disturbed when I found young children killing each other. I think that anyone with a conscience would agree with me.”

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

“The book is not readable because of the overuse of adverbs.”

Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller

“This book is one of the worst books I have ever read. I got to about page 3-4.”

14 comments to The Doings of Fops

  • Aimee

    THANK YOU. Without these reviews I never would have picked up on the crass and objectionable product-placement in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Because what child, after all, wouldn’t want to run out and buy SCADS of enchanted candy that will put them in thrall to a witch who wants to kill them and their siblings? And make it always winter and never Christmas? Because as everybody knows, all children HATE Christmas.

    I have to say, though, that the review that made me laugh the hardest was the last one. “I got to about page 3-4.”

  • Jill W.

    Well, c’mon- you have to go way past p. 3-4 to get to the really good naughty bits…

  • Jill W.

    And all these years, I have thought The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe was a brilliant and highly entertaining Christian allegory. I never even noticed the ads. Do the movie people know about this? I am seeing an opporunity for product placement…

    Also, now I want some Turkish Delight.

  • My 6th grade student nearest me, Marisa, is a little worried about my sanity as I cannot quit laughing at this. Of course, I AM reading your blog while they are SLAVING AWAY reading a story (somewhat silently) seeing as how it’s reading class and all. . .so I’m reading too.

  • JulieB

    I actually got to eat a piece of Turkish Delight once. I didn’t like it much. 😛

  • Mr. Husband

    I love terrible reviews. Here’s one more for you:

    The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo by Stieg Larsson

    So to summarize the book-
    Journalist man does something trivial, genius chick is explained as not being a genius, but challenged, random sexual encounter, coffee and sandwiches(I wish I could do a search for this one for an actual count), description of clothes and financial/family history documents, repeat this pattern every 30 pages for the next 600!!!! pages.

  • Jenn

    Well really, if you don’t have your audience by page 3-4 then you’re not a good writer.

  • Haley

    My favorite amazon reviews are the ones that are like, “I ordered this book to be gift-wrapped and the wrapping did NOT live up to my expectations.” I think that would be better expressed in some kind of email or call to amazon, not in the reviews meant for other readers. Also, it drives down the star ratings, which is mean. I’ve also read a lot of reviews where the person rated something 1 star and then gave it a glowing review, like they thought 1 was the best score and 5 was the worst, which again drives down the star ratings.

  • I probably could have written some of the reviews of the classics when I was in high school – any book I have to read under duress is automatically awful and boring 😛 I should reread some of them now that my taste has matured a bit, but I have too much required reading for University as it is!

  • Anna Marie

    This makes me worry for the future of our world. Although, to be fair, Lord of the Rings IS hard to read, but it’s mostly because the damn hobbits won’t stop singing.

  • That was hilarious! The Virgina Woolf one made me laugh out loud. Makes me think of a conversation an author once wrote about. He told someone that he had a book that would be published posthumously. The person he was talking to said, “The sooner the better!”

  • jessica

    I love that you think to do a Google Image Search of things like that, especially when you regale us with your finds.

    I was reading this to my husband and when I read the Woolf “review” and then was explaining the Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? image, my husband interrupted to say, “Is it the zombie version of that book?”

    Perhaps there should be a question before you are allowed to review: “Have you finished reading this book?” That’s a very important question. 😉

  • Brigitte

    I remember back when “Survivor” was first coming out, and I HOPED it would be more like “Lord of the Flies” (‘cept maybe with airlifting folks out before they actually DIED). I was very disappointed. 😉

  • JennyM

    @Anna Marie: You mean singing all those songs full of adverbs, right?